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How Will Coronavirus Impact Immigration To The UK thumbnail

How Will Coronavirus Impact Immigration to the UK

Whether you believe that Coronavirus (formally referred to as COVID-19) is the next incarnation of the Spanish Flu, which killed millions in 1918, or a story heavily exaggerated by the media, it is likely there will be a number of consequences for those intending to come to the UK in the next few months. If you are currently in the process of applying for a Visa to join family, get married, visit, work, set up a start-up business, or perform, or for any other reason, you may have concerns regarding your ability to enter the UK and your health and well-being while here.

Are there any restrictions on people entering the UK due to COVID-19?

At present, the UK Government are not placing restrictions on people entering the UK in relation to Coronavirus. British Airways and Ryanair have cancelled hundreds of flights partly due to reduced demand and also to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Ryanair is cancelling a quarter of its flights in and out of Italy from mid-March, and BA plans to cancel flights from London to destinations including New York, Italy, France, Austria, Belgium, Germany and Ireland.

It is highly likely that the UK will move to implement inbound travel restrictions in the near future. Several countries have already implemented such policies, including Australia, Bahamas, many Caribbean islands, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Maldives, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Turkey, USA and Vietnam, which all have blanket bans for those who have travelled to or transited through China recently.


What is the UK Government’s advice for those arriving in the UK from affected areas?

The Government have outlined guidance for two categories of arrivals from affected areas:

  • Category 1: Travellers should self-isolate, even if asymptomatic, and call NHS 111 to inform of recent travel. Go home or to your destination and then self-isolate.
  • Category 2: Travellers do not need to undertake any special measures, but if they develop symptoms they should self-isolate and call NHS 111.

Category 1 includes anyone who has arrived in the UK from Wuhan city and Hubei Province, Iran, Daegu or Cheongdo (Republic of Korea), some northern Italian towns.


Category 2 includes individuals from Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Northern Italy, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

What about those affected by travel restrictions in China?

Automatic visa extensions for some Chinese nationals


Many Chinese nationals who are present in the UK may be concerned about what will happen if their Visa expires while they are subject to travel restrictions. The UK Government have stated that Visas which expire between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020 will be automatically extended to the end of March 2020. In addition, for those on a long-term standard visitor visa of 2, 5 or 10 years who are about to reach the maximum stay of 180 days between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020 will also receive the same automatic extension.


Closure of Visa Application Centres in China


All Visa Application Centres (VAC) are currently closed in China due to COVID-19. If you are a British national in China requiring a passport, you can apply for an emergency travel document. If you are not a British national but your passport is currently held in a VAC, you can email VFS Global directly who will assist you.


Chinese nationals switching from a Tier 2 (Intra-Company) Visa to a Tier 2 (General) Visa


Coronavirus is also imposing difficulties for those who need to return to China to convert their Tier 2 Visa from the intra-company category to the general category (which provides a route to settlement in the UK). The Home Office has offered the following reassurance:
“If you are a Chinese national in the UK on a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa and want to switch to a Tier 2 General visa you normally need to return to China to make your application. You can exceptionally apply to switch from a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer to a Tier 2 General visa from within the UK if your visa has an expiry date between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020. You will still need to pay the relevant fee and meet all the requirements of a Tier 2 General visa, other than the requirement that you usually have to apply in China”.

New Home Office Coronavirus immigration helpline

For those with concerns regarding their immigration status due to Coronavirus, the UK Home Office has set up a free helpline which can be contacted at:
0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk

All non-Coronavirus immigration enquiries should be directed to the general immigration helpline - 0300 123 2241.

What should I do if I feel unwell while in the UK?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
• a cough
• a high temperature
• shortness of breath


Having these symptoms does not mean you have Coronavirus; rather you may have the common cold or flu.

The NHS has an information page on their website to assist anyone concerned that they or a family member may have Coronavirus.

If you are currently in the UK on an immigration Visa of any type and are feeling unwell, it is imperative that you do not go to a hospital or GP due to the risk of spread. Instead, contact the NHS helpline on 111 who will be able to assist you. Based on your symptoms, you may be advised from 111 to self-isolate. According to the NHS, self-isolation means:

• staying at home,
• not go to work, school or public places,
• not using public transport or taxis
• asking friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you
• where possible, avoiding visitors to your home – it's OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food


Self-isolation may be required for around two weeks to minimise the potential of spreading the virus within your community and family.

We will continue to keep you updated on any immigration changes as a result of Coronavirus. In the meantime, take sensible precautions and heed any official advice provided.

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Some of our Happy Client

Reiss Edwards Awards

ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated
Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge
Lexology Legal Influencers
ACQ5 Awards Award ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated Three Best Rated
Department For International Development Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge University Of Cambridge
Lexology Legal Influencers Lexology Legal Influencers

O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

Christine .C

"I wholeheartedly recommend Reiss Edwards to anyone who is in search of immigration advice. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amar who has been very thorough in finding a solution to my enquiry, and followed up with additional information even after the consultation. I normally don't leave reviews, and this firm already has enough good reviews for me to need to my own anyways! However, in this instance, I do hope that my review can let anyone who reads it be aware that RE is a great choice, these people care enough to help you the best they can".

Zohaib Butt

"I had the chance to use Reiss Edwards services for my Tier 2 extension. Marija dealt with my case and I found her very professional and experienced in dealing with my application. The care and attention to detail was exceptional. I would definitely recommend Reiss Edwards!".

Quintus Liu

"Knowledgeable, experienced, and relatable. Translated a complex process into steps that are easy to follow. Cruised to 3 successive wins on my Tier 1 graduate/entrepreneurship visa which allowed us to play our part in making the UK a better and healthier place!".

Khasan Vosijonov

"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

Saira Lawson-Brown

"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

Nora Nkechi

"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

Deepak Chartbhurjh

"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

Hakeem Salam

"I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them".

Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them".

Mo Hussein

"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation".

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

Richard Stone

"I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, I was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that I wasn't disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle their case, contact Reiss Edwards".

Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is definitely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind".

Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards".

Florence Giwa

"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards".

Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them".

Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

Reiss Edwards Reviews

O.L

"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

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Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

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Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

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Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee...

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Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A mas...

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Khasan Vosijonov

"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy. As a family, we...

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Saira Lawson-Brown

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"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recomme...

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"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listen...

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Hakeem Salam

"I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter a...

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"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled ...

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"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration...

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Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They ac...

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"Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to ...

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Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my expe...

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"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused...

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